'A long time coming': Redfin to leave National Association of Realtors

Redfin Corp. (Nasdaq: RDFN) is leaving the National Association of Realtors, citing dues requirements, fees on every listing and alleged sexual harassment within the trade group.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman wrote in a web post on Monday that the company, since joining NAR in 2017, has paid more than $13 million in dues. He characterized its control of the industry as anticompetitive and unfriendly to consumers. One policy he takes issue with is that fees are required for the buyer’s agent on every listing.

“We love our industry. We’ve tried to love NAR. But enough is enough,” Kelman said.

Mantill Williams, NAR’s vice president of communications, said the following in an emailed statement:

Redfin told us in June they were planning to separate from NAR, and we respect their choice to do so. The U.S. model of local MLS broker marketplaces has long been — and still is — considered the best value in the world. NAR stands by its pro-consumer, pro-competitive guidance for affiliated local broker marketplaces that ensure equity, efficiency, transparency and market-driven pricing options for home buyers and sellers. Agent compensation is set between brokers and their clients and has always been negotiable at any point in the transaction.

The company’s split from NAR began in June, when it resigned from its national board seat. Kelman said that Redfin will go further by requiring its brokers and agents to leave the association wherever possible. A limitation is that in about half the U.S., membership to NAR is required to access Multiple Listing Service databases and other tools. Because of this, Kelman is also calling on NAR to unlock access to MLS tools, instead of having it tethered to the organization.

Kelman’s concerns about sexual harassment, he said, come in the wake of allegations against the association and its now-former president that surfaced in August.


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